2020 Jun 06 - Coronavirus Summer

It's now June, normally a month when you might be out enjoying a drink in the sun and watching the cricket, but thanks to the Corovirus, the only kind of bat you're going to be seeing is one of the ones for sale that that Chinese wet-market. Did I say cricket? Because I'm fairly certain you can buy them there too along with locusts, grasshoppers and pangolins which I've never had, though supposedly they taste a bit like pork or duck. I must say that I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian but a general rule is that if you don't know what noise an animal makes, don't eat it.

Anyway, a summer with no cricket, no beer garden and strangely no Wimbledon which is odd given that the players stay far more than the regulation 6 feet from each other. Rest assured though that, this summer will be quite different all round, with the one exception being the riots which will remind many of the long hot summer of 1967, though everything I always heard was that if you could actually remember the 60s then you weren't there. For my generation it would be the 90s LA riots I suppose. A truly bizarre piece of trivia regarding that is that the only reason that the Rodney King video ever even existed was because the event in question happened right next to a motel which was across the street from where they were filming Terminator 2 and one of the guests just happened to have his camcorder handy on the off change that Arnold Schwarzenegger was hanging about.

Nonetheless, we'll leave that topic for next week potentially and take a look at the UK where a range of proposals have been put forward for easing the lockdown, many of which are unworkable in practice, like having separate smoking and non-smoking sections of a taxi, or a no-peeing section in a swimming pool. Those who want to take a regional approach to handling the problem seem to have forgotten that the thing managed to get in and out off China, Russia and other locked down places in a way that would make James Bond raise an eyebrow if he was paying attention rather than thinking up suggestive things to say to Maud Adams. You have to either open the country up or not though and yet the government continues to pursue an on-the-fence approach to things, probably best summed up where trains ferries and planes are off-limits, yet makeshift rafts in the channel made out of driftwood are maybe ok?

The one point of apparent clarity is in the opposition to extending the Brexit transition period, a policy decision that may actually be made out of ideology and policy, or perhaps Boris doesn't want to shake hands at a covid-ridden press summit and end up in hospital again. Certainly Brussels has lots of plans to hand out money it doesn't have and yes, wasn't it always but this time even the Germans are getting cold feet about footing the bills. It reminds me of an old joke where 3 construction firms are bidding for an EU contract. The French firm puts in a bid of €10m. Then a German firm puts in an offer of €20m with a presentation explaining that their engineering will be of higher quality. Finally an Italian construction firm puts in a bid of €30m Euros and the Brussels official phones up the company to ask how they could possibly justify the bid being was so high and the owner, explains, €10m for you, €10m for me and €10 for the French.
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